At the time of this posting, it is cloudy, and a little windy in Hallandale, Florida, and they have just sealed the racetrack during the renovation break. So rain is in the forecast.
I am looking forward to the return of Union Rags, who I declared my “Derby Horse” after his excellent second in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile last November. While it is way too early for such proclamations, he was, and still is, the horse that has impressed me the most thus far.
But I need to see a huge effort from him today, to keep him atop my list. He doesn’t have to win, but he needs to run “big”.
I will probably play a pick 4 today starting with the 9th race. My pick in here is Point of Entry. This well-bred son of Dynaformer, out of a top notch female family, has been a little slow in putting it all together. But that is sometimes the case with the Dynaformers. He is one –for-one over the Gulfstream turf, and seems to be more focused with blinkers. Has had a bit of a freshening and I look for him to run a big one. Not an easy group however, and if you like to go deep in your first leg, I would certainly add the both Utley and Slow Pace, both drop-down Euros , and the improving Freshman Dorm for Mc Laughlin.
The 10th is the Grade3 Mac Diarmida and another tough turf event. The race is named after the son of Minnesota Mac, out of Flying Tammie, who became the 1978 Eclipse Award winning Male Turf Horse. Trained by Scotty Schulhofer, one of his wins was the prestigious Washington DC International.
I have always liked Newsdad and he is my top choice in here. Will be happy if the Clancy crew’s Eagles Poise runs back to his back to back Canadian victories from last year, but that was on poly. Simard and Center Divider could be in the mix too. Pay attention to track condition by this time in the day.
Good thing I just checked Twitter. Algorithms is scratched from the Fountain of Youth due to popping a splint. How quickly things can change. This could take him off the Derby Trail. Pletcher’s other horse, Discreet Dancer is very fast and will be stretching out for the first time. Unions Rags will not be bothered by a wet track, if there is one, but the only question will be, does he need to be fully cranked, to win this? My longshot play in here is News Pending. I think he is good enough to get a piece.
In the last leg I will look at three horses. Pikestar is dropping from MSW after showing speed in his second start, and picks up JV. Le Grande Artiste, woke up when dropped and has had several good works since that effort. And Malibu Wave showed some interest his initial turf outing, and was steadied in that one. Another who has worked well since then.
Good Luck if you are wagering today!